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AOC Will File Impeachment Articles Against Justices Following Immunity Ruling

The ruling, which expands presidential protections, “represents an assault on American democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deliver remarks on Earth Day event at Prince William Forest Park in Virginia on April 22, 2024.

In response to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on so-called presidential immunity, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested that the conservative justices who expanded the powers of the chief executive should be impeached.

On Monday, the Court issued its majority opinion, in which Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by the remaining five conservative bloc justices, established precedent protecting presidents and former presidents from criminal charges for actions they may have taken while in office. The new standard requires the judicial branch to presume presidents have immunity for acts that fall within their office’s authority — in short, if they exercise a constitutionally granted power, they cannot be charged with a crime later on, even if their actions are criminal in nature or violate a federal statute in some way.

“The system of separated powers designed by the Framers has always demanded an energetic, independent Executive,” Roberts wrote in trying to justify the ruling.

Legal experts condemned the ruling as giving too much power to the executive branch with little oversight. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a member of the liberal bloc of the Court, blasted the ruling as dangerous for the future of the country.

Said Sotomayor:

Whether described as presumptive or absolute, under the majority’s rule, a President’s use of any official power for any purpose, even the most corrupt, is immune from prosecution. That is just as bad as it sounds, and it is baseless.

“If the occupant of that office misuses official power for personal gain, the criminal law that the rest of us must abide will not provide a backstop. With fear for our democracy, I dissent,” the dissenting justice added.

On the social media platform X, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez similarly criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, writing that the Court has “become consumed by a corruption crisis beyond its control.”

“Today’s ruling represents an assault on American democracy. It is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture,” Ocasio-Cortez stated. “I intend on filing articles of impeachment upon our return.”

It’s unclear whether Ocasio-Cortez intends to impeach all six conservative justices or just a select few.

The House of Representatives is currently on recess through the Independence Day holiday. House members will return to work on Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal faces steep, if not impossible, odds of passing, due to the House being controlled by Republicans. Consideration for her measure will likely be denied, as Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) has already made statements celebrating the ruling and downplaying concerns about the expansive new powers and protections that presidents now receive.

Even if Johnson somehow allowed for impeachment hearings to begin, Ocasio-Cortez would need to convince all Democrats in her conference, plus at least four Republicans, to back the measure, presuming everyone votes within the legislative chamber. Then the measure would have to pass with a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is also nearly evenly split, with Democrats having only a slight majority in the chamber.

Only one justice of the Supreme Court, Samuel Chase in the early 19th century, has ever been impeached. In that case, Chase was impeached within the House but avoided indictment in the Senate and was allowed to serve out the remainder of his life as a sitting justice of the Court.

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